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Measuring Quality of Care Is an Extremely Complex Concept

Autor:   •  March 8, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,756 Words (12 Pages)  •  1,335 Views

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Measuring quality of care is an extremely complex concept. Various organizations have their own viewpoints on what quality should be and the standards they follow. When analyzing quality of care there are three distinct perspectives to consider: Patients, Physicians, and Payers. They each have their own interpretation of quality along with their individual needs. There are endless measures and key performance indicators used to determine quality such as the numerous organizations that offer accreditation to healthcare facilities. There are also multiple players whom affect the quality of care from the physician to the patient. Timely patient feedback is a key that many healthcare organizations do not currently take advantage of. What an organization does with the results is just an important as conducting the surveys. Peer review is a key concept and a great place to start on the road to quality improvement initiatives.

Topic Introduction

By making short and long term goals toward quality improvement an organization can make great strides toward improving their quality. Small things such as listening to their patients and evaluating their current processes can make all the difference. Accreditation organizations are great but can be very costly. For example, the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Healthcare charges $25,000 for their review services and an organization must renew every two to three years to remain accredited. Accreditation organizations offer a lot of key concepts but their services come with a price. Finding what best fits for an organization and its members will go a long way toward improving the quality of care. Quality is a journey. During this journey there are unlimited ways to get there and not one path is necessarily superior over another. It's all about the journey and what you learn along the way.

Quality Perceptions

The quality of care can be defined in many ways. The quality of care is often in the eye of the beholder. Quality is complex and there are three main groups (patients, physicians, and payers) who define quality differently. Each group has their own expectations for healthcare quality and each group defines those expectations differently. Defining and measuring quality of care is complex and comes with many challenges.

Patients

Quality is frequently based on patient perception and their desired outcome for the given situation. For example, a physician can be abrupt and to the point but at the same time a very precise and efficient physician. One patient can view that as rude and arrogant after a visit. They may feel their quality of care was lacking due to the physicians lack of bedside manner. Another patient may feel the same physician is quick and efficient and doesn't waste time on small talk. This patient may also appreciate the

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